Picturing Next Generation Arts Centres

Arts development, Arts participation

I have been thinking about the next generation of arts centres. What will they look like, who will fund them, will they exist outside the white cube, will they reside in communities, or will they encompass something completely new, totally online or a regular meet up of artists, creatives and an interested tribe of followers (audience). In discussing this with some friends, colleagues, curators and arts managers recently the question of audience development really stood out.

I believe that our approach to audience and audience development is far too linear, we broadcast rather than involve in a conversation.

This old paradigm has served arts organisations rather badly, I believe, over the years. When we broadcast only there is only one way for the conversation to go and that’s usually to deaf ears. I know what it feels like to spend months putting a great programme, festival or exhibition together only to be disappointed in the numbers come to visit and engage with the events.

The Lesson is, we need to start real conversations with our audiences.

Image by Ell Brown